Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Intent


It is Spiritual Journey Thursday.  When you are finished here, head over to Holly Mueller's site, "Read, Write, Think" and check out the Linky to see what others have written on today's word, "INTENT".  This is Leigh Ann Eck's OLW (One Little Word) to guide her through the year.

Intent, as a noun, is your reason or purpose in doing something.
Is it mentioned in the Bible?  Yes, it is.

Acts 10
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

Peter asked what Cornelius’ intentions were for sending for him.
Cornelius had dreamed of Peter and listened as God told him to have Peter come and talk to him and his people about Jesus.  Cornelius and all who heard were saved when they listened to Peter as he spoke the words that God intended for them to hear.

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.



So what does intent mean in my daily journey? 

Do you ever do something, and then question your real intent?  Sometimes we are pretty good at lying to ourselves.  When we do or say something, we need to consider "what is the intent"?  Is it presented as for the good, yet actually to our benefit or advantage or vanity?

Sometimes I think it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking we have said something that will be helpful to someone, but it is actually a boast, a put-down, gossip or just plain hurtful.
I know sometimes I can be guilty of that.  I can temporarily fool myself into thinking that it was okay, but later a shower of guilt will descend when I realize that my intentions were subconsciously not the best!

When I write, when I live, when I talk, when I help - my intent, my purpose, is never to hurt, never to speak unkindly, and never have anyone question whether the Lord is important in my life.

I always want to be able to answer the Lord’s question “What was your intent?” with, “to give glory to You”.

That does not mean to say that every other phrase out of my mouth would be one of praise, though there isn’t really anything wrong with that, I guess… except for perhaps it becoming a vain repetition of sorts that can easily lose its effectiveness and meaning before becoming aware that the intent has changed from one of sincerity to one of a prideful display of humility.  Now there’s a thought:

Prideful Display of Humility

Do not let the words from your mouth
Become burdensome to others surrounding;
Your prayer and worship of God
Though joyful, through grace that’s abounding,
Should be sincerely mouthed in your heart
Not as an impressive display;
Even God will question intention
If grand speeches are heard as you pray.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Okay, wow.  So that’s what just came forth with that phrase… it was longer - I continued, but it seemed to evolve into a different poem, so I've split them and made the one into two.
The continuation/split:

Intent

God’s not impressed with our posturing
Unless it’s one bent at the knee,
He harkens to all who are humble
With prayer and an intent to be
A servant, a listener, a seeker
With intent to worship Him more,
Whose eyes are intent on intentions -
That their path is what God has in store.
With prayer and sweet supplication,
My intent is to have what He gives.
The intent of the world is to still Him;
My intent is to show that He lives.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

Oh, and speaking of intent and its meaning in my life:

I really do try to give other people grace.  I try to assume good intent, unless proven otherwise.  It makes for a much pleasanter life when I don't take offense at everything.  I  put myself in the shoes of the other person and remind myself how easy it is to trip up and put my own foot in my mouth.  Why shouldn't it be as easy for someone else to do the same with their own foot and mouth?
The intent is not always to offend.
Forgive and move on.

7 comments:

  1. So much wisdom! So much to think about...to ponder, really! Thank you for every single challenging, admonishing, convicting word! Post after post, you do what you set out to do: "The intent of the world is to still Him; My intent is to show that He lives." ...Thank you! God bless you!

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  2. Oh so true how important it is to examine our own motives... a big one for me is to consider if my real motivation before I say or do something is to CHANGE someone's behavior or thinking... that's just manipulation, and it never really works! All we can do is focus on ourselves. And yes, I love your reminder "the intent is not always to offend." Powerful words in my life have been "I choose not to be offended." Yes, being offended is a choice! Thank you, Donna! xo

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  3. "When I write, when I live, when I talk, when I help - my intent, my purpose, is never to hurt..." I have the same intentions as you do, but sometimes, I don't follow those intentions and on impulse say or do something I'm later sorry for. I keep reminding myself that next time I'll do better, and I intend to do just that!

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  4. "Forgive and move on"-a beautiful intent, Donna. I have learned that this is an action that benefits me because anger and hurt fester and don't allow for a peaceful, purposeful walk of faith. Thanks for both poems-powerful thoughts to ponder.

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  5. I like how you go through the various meaning of "intent" applying them to yourself and your relationship with God. There's lots to consider. And, I think, like you give others grace, God gives you, all of us who don't always understand ourselves grace too, even though our intent may not be the purest.

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  6. Your questions at the beginning of your post are convicting. Of course I've asked myself what my real intentions were after I say something I wish I hadn't! It just happened to me a couple days ago, and I'm still brooding over it. If only I had thought more about what I was going to say before I said it. My mistake wasn't posturing or anything; it just wasn't what I really intended and came out wrong. I'm going to make your first lines of the first poem my mantra:
    "Do not let the words from your mouth
    Become burdensome to others surrounding;"
    Thank you for your honest post!

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  7. It is so true, God sees through to our hearts. We even have to examine why intend something. Is it for the glory of God or the glory of ourselves? Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

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